I recommend that you try to decide in advance where you want to land and what you want to be when you are done. Then, pick the school that you can go to to land there doing that without incurring paralyzing debt. When I was contemplating law schools, I had my choice of many fine schools. I had ideas I might go into environmental law in Denver or transactional law in San Francisco or international law in Miami or some number of other "romantic" notions of who I could be when I grew up. I didn't contemplate the debt, I just saw myself in a big office in a cool place calling big shots. I went to a top law school and did well. I got a great job out of school and I've been on my own for over ten years. I decided against the big city/bright lights. I live in a great place with my parents and sister nearby, and I like it here. I paid for that expensive law school degree for fifteen years. My debt load was a fraction of what many of my classmates took on to get the degree. I had a number of classmates who took jobs they detested merely because it was a financial necessity to service their debt. They actually could not take the job they wanted and had been offered. They were a slave to student loans, moving to cities they didn't want to live in, doing jobs at law firms they hated. Beware the law firms with on-site showers. You, rookie, are expected to use them. I have no regrets about any decision I made except creating expensive opportunities that I just didn't really want or need. Sure, clients come in and the paper from my fancy pants law school looks great hanging up there, but they aren't hiring me because I went to that school, they are hiring me because I'm good at what I do as demonstrated over the last twenty years. Long and short of it, I could have gone to a state school and followed the same career path without the debt.